Tony Edwards

The tumble dryer beep

- 1 min

Every time the tumble dryer beeps, I think of a story told at a networking event hosted by EPIC.

It was in a community hall in Liskeard some time in the before days. I was there to broadcast a talk by a Software Cornwall member onto the organisations Facebook account. The network connection let us down on this outing, but the speakers didn’t.

One story focused around smart plugs. As part of a pilot, an Alexa plus a bunch of smart plugs and lights had been given out to a handful of people. The protagonist from a particularly memorable story managed to substantially changed the quality of their life. All thanks to a single plug.

They were bed bound. A pool of helping hands visited multiple times a day to deliver care and household support. The lunchtime nurse often put on some washing, with the final visitor transferring the washing into the tumble dryer before switching it off.

Multiple times a week, nightly they were kept awake by the beeps from the tumble dryer, as well as the occasional drone of the drum as it turns. It prevents fresh washing from creasing you see. It wasn’t particularly noisy, but it did hinder their dropping off. Thanks to the smart tech, they could now switch the dryer off when the cycle completed, ending the misery.

To me, and probably you too, a smart plug is just a nice to have. Something that makes life a little more convenient in exchange for an initial financial outlay and a marginal ongoing electricity cost. To the in person above, it was a life changer.

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